Prompt: what do these texts suggest about the conflict between pursuing a personal desire and choosing to conform?
Theme statement: When an individual who is self-minded, and doesn’t comply with rules or standards, is confronted with a personal desire, one forgets the bigger picture which leads to more problems being created. Then leads to the individual never achieving their self-interest.
Text: Diogene ou la lucidite
The street lights
Growing up in France during the early 1900s was not easy for those who weren’t rich. I come from a small family who barley had enough to survive each day, so growing up I had to learn to minimize and help provide for my family. We were a family of 5 my father and mother were factory workers, which meant we had very little income I also had 2 younger brothers who I had to look out for, and I was only 12 years old but I always had that responsibility from the time I was brought into the world. The streets of France was always packed with foreigners, most of who were inventors, the city had a huge boom in new machines and factories being created, it helped the rich but drove away the poor like my family out of our homes. This was the first time when I had a shift of emotions I began to dream and believe one day I will be rich and help my parents move out from the slums, and live my dream with me.
April 1 1912, messengers came to my house to deliver the news that our parents were killed in a factory accident, we were giving no compensation except a lousy apology. I didn’t know how to deliver the news to my siblings, even though they were mature now they looked up to our parents and their hard work. I cried through the whole night, morning came and my brothers started asking “where is mom and dad”, I told them the news they cried all day, I had to man up and tell them to wipe their tears cause our fates will be sealed the same way as theirs unless we do something about it. Night came and the sun went missing, as I slept that night I had a dream I saw myself in the darkness, and then a bright light approached me but I was never able to reach it. I woke up the next day wondering what that meant. As I walked through the slums I looked around and realized there was no lights around “I must do something about this,” I said to myself “maybe this has to do with my dreams”.
A few months had passed and after all my searching for a sponsor I had finally got one he believed in my idea of creating street lamps. If I was able to achieve this I will be able to achieve my dream and move my brothers away from the slums, from that day on all I thought of was my dream and personal desire and never thought of anyone or anything else. I started of with getting a small factory where I got those looking for jobs, we spent the days creating the structure of the street lights, and nights working on the light bulbs, I never gave the workers any breaks, I felt myself starting to change. My brothers got worried for me and told me I needed rest and so did the workers but I just pushed them away and saw them as an obstacle from me achieving my personal goal. I slowly became the monsters who ended up killing my parents all because of my own self-interest.
The lamps were finally created we had made a total of 500,000 units, and a total of 50 workers death, I had orphaned 50 families. I became what I hated the most, but didn’t care. The day of sales came and our sales was very low as not a lot of people really wanted lamps. It was considered pointless as there were already light bulbs and flashlights which meant there was no need for my invention. I was to focused on my own interest I forgot to look at my surrounding and see the bigger problems around it. I read my dream wrong I wasn’t supposed to bring the light but supposed to be the light, to guide all those living in the slums to a better place. For this I left a trail of evil everywhere I went and everyone saw me as the devil, even my own brothers. I wrote this to tell my story and my regrets and why individuals should not let their personal desires take control of them. This is the last thing I will do before I kill myself, my apologies to those families I ruined as for I also ruined mine. This is it for me I can’t live any longer after what I have done and who I became.